Book Review: Waking Hours by Lis Wiehl

Amazon summary
All towns have secrets. Some have demons.
Welcome to East Salem. A deceptively sleepy town where ancient supernatural forces are being awakened.
A local high-school girl is found murdered in a park amid horse farms and wealthy homes of northern Westchester County, New York. The shocking manner of her death confounds the town and intrigues forensic psychiatrist Dani Harris, who is determined to unravel the mystery. All the suspects are teenagers who were at a party with the girl-yet none remembers what happened. Could one of them be a vicious killer? Or is something more sinister afoot-something tied to an ancient evil?
But it’s not just her waking hours that challenge Dani. Each night, her eyes open at 2:13 due to troubling dreams. Dreams filled with blood, water, and destruction. Is it a clue-or a supernatural sign?
Across town, former NFL linebacker Tommy Gunderson finds his state-of-the-art security system has been breached by an elderly woman. Mumbling threats in Latin, she attacks him with an uncanny, preternatural strength. Before he has time to process the attack, someone close to him is implicated in the girl’s murder at the park. He agrees to help-and finds himself working with Dani, the only girl who could resist his charms years ago when they were in high school.
A heavy darkness is spreading. Yet a heavenly force is also at work.

It will take astute analysis and forensic skills to solve the crime. But Dani and Tommy suspect there’s more the the mystery than murder, more to their growing friendship than chance . . . and more to the evil they’re facing than a mere human killer.

My review
This book drove me crazy. I was so creeped out that I kept wanting to stop reading, but I couldn’t stop because I had to know what happened. Waking Hours was published by a Christian publisher, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that means it’s not a book that will keep you up at night. It just means there is no cussing or sex in the book. Trust me, you won’t miss it.

Tommy Gunderson is the town hero: former high school football star, former NFL player. He’s also a Christian, which makes for some very interesting conversations with Dani Harris, who is a scientist through and through, and doesn’t believe in anything she can’t see and touch. There is no preaching going on here, though. I can’t say that the Christian part is downplayed because the mystery Dani and Tommy are unravelling seems to literally be a battle between good and evil, God and Satan.

Aside from the crime-solving, watching Tommy and Dani get to know each other is sweet and funny. There is a lot of humor in this book, despite the subject matter. Tommy, in particular, has a corny sense of humor. I could give a dozen examples, but my favorite line is,

At the double door to the east wing, a workman on a stepladder was mounting a bracket to the moulding. “I have one just like that. I love my stepladder,” Tommy told Dani. “But it makes me sad to think I never knew my real ladder.”

This book has it all: mystery, humor, a battle between good and evil, a little hint of romance. Waking Hours is the first in the The East Salem Trilogy, and I’ll be waiting for the next installment.

About the book
Title: The Waking Hours (The East Salem Trilogy)
Author: Lis Wiehl with Pete Nelson
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release date: October 4, 2011
Pages: 336
Where I got the book: I got this book for free from the publisher as part of the BookSneeze review program. All opinions are my own.